David Corkery: Munster rugby hit a new low by losing to Leinster's second team

'It's now 11 years of nothing but empty promises and decrepit excuses from management after management. What do we do about it?'
David Corkery: Munster rugby hit a new low by losing to Leinster's second team

Leinster go over for their first try on Saturday evening at the Aviva. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

THIS was a shocking and embarrassing loss and I really don’t care how strong Leinster’s squad is.

I am sick to my back teeth of listening to excuse after excuse and of how Munster are building. For Christ's sake, how long do they need?

Munster may well be still alive and kicking in this competition but what transpired on Saturday evening as Johann van Graan's side went down to a complete second string Leinster has to be one of the lowest points in their long and illustrious history.

To think that Leo Cullen could afford to leave out his starting 15 from their European Cup semi-final victory against Toulouse and still field a team that was capable of beating Munster is very discomforting.

It's now 11 years of nothing but empty promises and decrepit excuses from management after management. What do we do about it?

Nothing, except trawl through each game and look to find the scraps of positivity to cling on to.

Munster are very quickly becoming like the Irish soccer team where producing a good performance is deemed as a major achievement and it gives me no pleasure in stating this, but it’s the truth.

Leinster’s Rory O’Loughlin celebrates scoring a try with teammates. Picture: INPHO/Dan Sheridan
Leinster’s Rory O’Loughlin celebrates scoring a try with teammates. Picture: INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Due to the lack of success Munster now have become virtuosos at feeding the public with what they want to hear and dear I say it, most are gullible enough to believe it. 

It’s the same crap game after game where those holding the microphone and asking the questions are petrified to ask the questions that really matter and those on the other side are told they must be positive.

When Munster lost to Toulouse two weeks ago Johann van Graan’s exact words after that game were: "Today is what Munster rugby is about..." 

Well, I’m sorry Johann, but that’s not what Munster are about!

The Munster that I played with and watched is a very distant memory to many, but to me, anything other than a victory was deemed as a failure. While Munster played well against Toulouse, they still lost. 

Then they follow it up with this shocking result and think it’s alright because they got lucky and managed to draw Ulster away in the quarter-finals.

Munster's Jack O'Donoghue is tackled by Scott Penny and Adam Byrne of Leinster. Picture: INPHO/Ben Brady
Munster's Jack O'Donoghue is tackled by Scott Penny and Adam Byrne of Leinster. Picture: INPHO/Ben Brady

Please, enough is enough and the time for the gloves to come off is well gone because if they continue to produce these kinds of inconsistent performances where one week we look like a team that has purpose and the next we resemble a side that has no structure or blueprint, the trophy cabinet in Thomond Park might as well be used to store toilet rolls.

If Munster are ever to become the force they once were, they must act now and not wait until tomorrow or next season. Johann van Graan must go now and not be allowed to see out his contract and I don’t care if the season is nearly over.

Whether van Graan is to be held 100% accountable for his side's performances is completely irrelevant at this stage.

The truth of the matter is that unless someone has the balls to stand up and make a strong statement of intent by removing the South African from his position, those coming on board next year will think that it is alright to get knocked out of the European Cup at the quarter-finals and lose to Leinster’s B team.

Graham Rowntree should be allowed to start his tenure now.

BOLD CALLS

The CEO of Munster is Ian Flanagan.

Flanagan, who spent most of his working career promoting soccer as head of global football and as the commercial director with Leicester City, really needs to make some bold and daring calls. 

On a leadership and player front, it is also time to call a spade a spade and realise that Joey Carbery is not the man to guide Munster through this horrid time.

In my limited knowledge of fly-halves and how they operate, Carbery is at best the fourth-ranked number 10 in the country and unless Munster can either buy or grow, the kind of commander that is capable of piloting his players around the field, we are going to continue to struggle.

As a result of not scoring four tries in Saturday's game and not gaining two losing bonus points, Munster have somehow drawn Ulster away in the quarter-finals of this competition. 

Who knows they might even win that game, but all I can hope for at this stage is that they don’t find themselves facing a full Leinster side because if they did, the outcome would just be catastrophic.

I really have no more to say.

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